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TechDays 2010 – Recorded sessions

The recorded sessions from TechDays 2010 are making their way onto the internet.

Me and Robert did the keynote day 2 and it’s divided into three parts (we appear in part 2 + 3). Watch them here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 (in Swedish).

On YouTube you can find interviews with attendees also, and Flickr has a lot of pictures from the event.

Not a lot of posts lately due to my new job, but I’m catching up!

[SWE] TechDays 2010 – Onsdag

Efter en låååång natts sömn var det dags att vakna till liv och försöka få i sig lite frukost innan keynoten. Jag och Robert var ju självklart tvungna att göra om vår presentation kvällen innan så att vi verkligen har koll på vem som säger vad och när… Plockade på mig frallor, fruktsallad och yoghurt men det blev bara en halv fralla och en kopp kaffe till frukost ändå.

När vi riggat upp våra datorer och fått nät så vår Azure-demo skulle fungera så körde vi en publikvärmning innan det var dags. Det såg ut som att det skulle bli hyfsat lite folk men det blev ganska mycket till sist. Verkade som att besökarna var trötta efter en kväll på Ritz. Vi körde vår quiz, grymt imponerande att två av de tävlande kunde 10+ decimaler av pi och satte primtalen dessutom. När lokalen sedan var äpple-säkrad med hjälp av silvertejp så släppte vi upp Kristina och Janne på scenen.

Nervositeten hade släppt efter värmningen så det var mest en fråga om att vänta på vår tur efter det. Tack vare Louise alla dryruns så hade vi koll på vem som skulle säga vad och när dessutom så det gick faktiskt väldigt bra måste jag säga. När vi var klara så bad vi Liselotte komma upp på scenen och överlämnade blommor till henne som ett tack dels för att hon är mamma till TechDays och dels som ett tack för det förtroende jag och Robert fick som talare på keynoten.

Tack till grabbarna på DPS, Liselotte, Louise, Per, Kristina och alla andra som gjorde TechDays 2010 möjligt!

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[SWE] TechDays 2010 – Tisdag

Efter en trevlig kväll igår där vi hann med Stallyktan, TechDays bar på Örebro Slott och sedan stängde Bishops Arms (vilket en måndagkväll inte var överdrivet sent) så sov jag som en prins sedan. Jag och Robert hann med två dryruns igår av vår keynote så man var lite mör. Uppenbarligen tyckte min kropp att vi skulle softa lite så jag försov mig efter att ha snoozat lite för länge. Hann dock med frukost, packa alla mina saker och i tid till keynoten. Såg halva innan jag begav mig på jakt efter min lokal för att hinna rigga upp allting. När man bygger kluster går det ju åt lite maskiner, så jag hade tre laptops, en switch, nätverkskablar, grenuttag, mus, extern hårddisk, videokamera och stillbildskamera i väskan. Fördelen med den packningen är att jag nu har en snygg högeraxel.

Keynoten var grym, hann med både Per (VD på Microsoft) och Christer (Utvecklingspoolen). Mycket bra observationer och vinklingar. Direkt efter keynoten var det dags för min session. Uppskattar det till ca 150 personer som kom för att lyssna. Efter ungefär 40 minuters dragning så hann vi med en mycket bra frågestund där vi avhandlade allt från iSCSI till licensmodeller och varför man ska välja Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 framför Windows Server 2008 R2.

Efter lunch körde jag och Robert vår tredje dryrun, intervjuade våra branschkollegor för att vara förberedda inför onsdagmorgonen.

Nu är det några sessioner kvar på dagen, sen är det fest på Conventum och efterfesten går av stapeln på Ritz. Med tanke på morgondagen lär jag inte bli så sen 😉

Uppdaterat album
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[SWE] Pre-Conf på TechDays 2010 i Örebro

[ENGLISH]

TechDays in Sweden starts tomorrow – The next days articles will unfortunately be in Swedish.

[/ENGLISH]

Efter att ha lämnat flickvännen på jobbet och avnjutit en frukost på Mellqvists på Rörstrandsgatan tillsammans med Björn Axell från Advisec så rullade vi mot Örebro. Första stoppet var en låååång bilkö vid Frösunda där vi plockade upp Robert Folkesson från Microsoft. Folkesson spenderade hela bilfärden med att koda och kompilera i baksätet medans jag och Axell diskuterade hur tidigt på en bilfärd man kan stanna för att köpa en ny dricka och göra sig av med den gamla.

När vi väl kört förbi Örebro, sett Kumla och kört tillbaka till Örebro checkade vi in på hotellet som praktiskt nog ligger vägg i vägg med Conventum. Eva Fors anlände sekunden efter oss och tutade hejvilt. En kort promenad senare kollade vi in stora scenen i kongresshallen, mötte upp vår producent Louise och träffade Liselotte från Microsoft.

Efter PPT-förberedelser och två genomkörningar känns livet lite lättare, men det blir nog talarkort i alla fall så man har koll på läget. Två olika dragningar på samma ämne, men det kanske blir en överraskning på onsdag!

Lite bilder:

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New features in Hyper-V

As a feature available in early versions of R2, dynamic memory is one of the things I’ve missed the most in Hyper-V. And obviously I’m not the only one because now Microsoft announces that it’s time to implement it. This means more VM’s on your hosts and soon the “you can’t overcommit memory like you can in VmWare”-days are over.

RemoteFX is another new feature that’ll be implemented, I won’t go into detail on that one because Brian Madden has already done that in this article. But now VDI can finally be for heavier workloads than Excel!

A new challenge!

After over 12 years consulting and working very much hands-on I’ve decided to accept a new challenge. I’ve accepted the position as a Solution Architect at Dell. I’ll be based in Stockholm, a three minute ride from home and I’ll be working within the Microsoft End User Computing area.

I really look forward to this new challenge which will let me learn new things, and do a lot of the things I’m good at.

I’ll miss my colleagues at Knowledge Factory, I’ve really enjoyed their company and learned a lot of things. We’ll meet again I’m sure, the IT industry in Stockholm isn’t that big after all!

Deploying Windows at multiple locations with TFTPD and MDT

Having visited a customer that wishes to redeploy their workstations at over 350 locations we soon came to the conclusion that it’ll either take forever based on the available bandwidth or they’ll have to invest in System Center Configuration Manager that can handle this with the branch office deployment scenario. You can read more about that over at Microsoft TechNet.

This way of deploying Windows have a broad usage scenario. Either for deploying Windows from a standard workstation in remote offices, you could even use the linked deployment shares functionality of MDT 2010 to manage them. You could use robocopy and a smart vbscript to install TFTPD32 and change the cs.ini / bootstrap.ini with the corresponding changes. The software could be installed on your laptop so you can connect it to a workstation / server directly with a cable and install Windows automatically even if your company or your customer doesn’t have an automated system in place.

The customer wasn’t too keen on spending that amount of money apparently, so we decided to look into some other way of solving the problem. After some looking around there seems to be a lot of ways to deploy windows using PXE, linux boot managers and third party tools. They were already using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), which made my day a lot easier.

Since I’m into Windows I decided to go for Windows software and avoid everything that was marked with a penguin. Note that I don’t have anything against penguins, but since most of my customers run a Windows shop it’s not well advised to bring in some other operating system. So what did I come up with?

Looking around there wasn’t much that wasn’t Linux-based, but I found TFTPD32. This piece of software has a lot of capabilities: DHCP, DNS, TFTP (Server/Client), SYSLOG and some more. It’s possible to run it as a service also, if you get srvany or some other software that’s available to run programs as services. Another option is to have it run minimized and then autostart it.

Setting it all up was mostly painless. Got stuck on Bcdedit which Johan Arwidmark already had covered in his blog. I’ve edited his script a little so the amount of work will be less for you. Credits for the script goes to him (link to him below).

If you’re gonna run this on XP you’ll need to copy bcdedit.exe from a Windows 7 with a matching architecture (x86/x64) to edit the BCD on XP since XP doesn’t have the BCD.

List of ingredients

TFTPD32
Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010
WAIK (Windows Automated Installation Kit)
Windows XP / Windows 7 media (TechNet+ or MSDN subscriptions gives you the opportunity to download these)
Powershell (download for Windows XP, included in Windows 7)
One workstation for deployment (could be virtual, Virtualbox is free of charge)
One workstation that receives your os (could be virtual, Virtualbox is free of charge)
One DC if you want to join a domain (could run DHCP also, you’ll need to configure it, see below)
The script that fixes the BCD. Download and save as c:deploymentsharebootCreateBCD.bat (Credits to Arwidmark)

Breaking it down

The script

(The below code might be wrapped and each line should start with Bcdedit except the for /f)


Rem Creates BCD (boot configuration data) for Windows PE 2.0
set BCD-File=c:deploymentsharebootBCD
del %BCD-File%
Bcdedit /createstore %BCD-File%
Bcdedit /store %BCD-File% /create {ramdiskoptions} /d "Ramdisk options"
Bcdedit /store %BCD-File% /set {ramdiskoptions} ramdisksdidevice boot
Bcdedit /store %BCD-File% /set {ramdiskoptions} ramdisksdipath bootboot.sdi
for /f "tokens=1-3" %%a in ('Bcdedit /store %BCD-File% /create /d "WinPE x86" /application osloader') do set guid1=%%c
Bcdedit /store %BCD-File% /set %guid1% systemroot Windows
Bcdedit /store %BCD-File% /set %guid1% detecthal Yes
Bcdedit /store %BCD-File% /set %guid1% winpe Yes
Bcdedit /store %BCD-File% /set %guid1% osdevice ramdisk=[boot]bootLiteTouchPE_x86.wim,{ramdiskoptions}
Bcdedit /store %BCD-File% /set %guid1% device ramdisk=[boot]bootLiteTouchPE_x86.wim,{ramdiskoptions}
Bcdedit /store %BCD-File% /create {bootmgr} /d "Windows Vista BootManager"
Bcdedit /store %BCD-File% /set {bootmgr} timeout 30
Bcdedit /store %BCD-File% /set {bootmgr} displayorder %guid1%
Bcdedit /store %BCD-File% /enum all

Install and configure WAIK and MDT

1) Install / add Powershell
2) Install WAIK
3) Install MDT

Once MDT is installed you’ll need to create a new deployment share, to make it easy I recommend keeping with the defaults otherwise you’ll need to edit the scripts and the settings for TFTPD32 if you change the path of the deploymentshare.

Import an operatingsystem into MDT so we have something to deploy and make a new task sequence. You might also want to update your customsettings.ini and boot.ini to reflect the options you want. Mine are displayed below and more information on the options available can be found in the MDT documentation and on multiple sites on the internet.




Customsettings.ini (many of these settings are in Vista/Windows 7 format, see documentation for XP)

[Settings]
Priority=Default
Properties=MyCustomProperty
[Default]
_SMSTSOrgName=TFTPD Deployment System
OSInstall=Y
SkipCapture=YES
SkipBDDWelcome=YES
SkipBitLocker=YES
SkipPackageDisplay=YES
SkipAppsOnUpgrade=YES
SkipAdminPassword=YES
SkipProductKey=YES
SkipComputerName=NO
SkipUserData=YES
ComputerBackupLocation=NETWORK
SkipTimeZone=YES
TimeZone=110
TimeZoneName=W. Europe Standard Time
SkipLocaleSelection=YES
UserLocale=sv-SE
UILanguage=sv-SE
KeyboardLocale=041d:0000041d
SkipDomainMembership=YES
SkipSummary=YES
SkipFinalSummary=YES

Bootstrap.ini

[Settings]
Priority=Default
[Default]
SkipBDDWelcome=YES
DeployRoot=XP01DeploymentShare$ (this needs to be changed for every location so that the pc's go to their closest one)
KeyboardLocale=sv-SE
UserDomain=xp01 (either the computername for a local account or your domainname)
UserID=temp (either a local user or a domain account)
UserPassword=temp

Update your deployment share.

The tricky part now is to extract some files from the Windows PE image included in the WAIK. We’ll need these to be able to PXE-boot our workstations.

Start an elevated command prompt and follow the steps below:

cd /d "C:Program FilesWindows AIKToolsPETools"
copype x86 c:winpe_x86
imagex /mount c:winpe_x86winpe.wim 1 c:winpe_x86mount
md C:PXEServerTFTPRootBootFonts
copy c:winpe_x86mountWindowsBootPXEpxeboot.n12 C:deploymentshareboot /y
copy c:winpe_x86ISObootfonts*.* c:deploymentsharebootFonts /y
copy c:winpe_x86mountWindowsBootPXEbootmgr.exe C:deploymentshareboot /y
imagex /unmount c:winpe_x86mount
copy C:winpe_x86ISObootboot.sdi C:deploymentshareboot /y




Click to open in lightbox

Note that this guide only shows you how to answer x86-machines. If you’d like to do x64 also, you’ll need to follow the steps from Arwidmarks guide to create a BCD for x64 or a BCD with multiple entries.

When these are extracted to c:deploymentshareboot we need to configure TFTPD32 so it knows which files to send to our PXE-booting workstations (or servers).

Run the script from c:deploymentshareboot so that it creates the BCD in the same folder.

Configure TFTPD32

If you don’t have a DHCP-server at the location where you want to deploy your workstations, you can configure TFTPD32 to act as one. In the screenshot below it’s configured to with the starting address 10.10.10.50 and a pool size of 10 addresses.





Click image to open 2 images in lightbox

As you can see on image number two I’ve configured the root folder of c:deploymentshare which contains our MDT files. The folder boot contains the Windows PE images generated by MDT, and it’s also this folder that we’ve copied our PXE boot files to. TFTPD32 is configured to answer each PXE-client with the file pxeboot.n12 which doesn’t give us an option to press a key to boot from PXE but just does it instead. The file pxeboot.com would give you that option if you like it.

Configure your DHCP-server

If you already have a DHCP-server you’ll need to configure the scope options for each scope. The options 66 and 67 needs to be configured with the address of the TFTP-server and the boot filename. The filename is relative to the folder root of the TFTP-server, so in my case it’s bootpxeboot.n12 but this all depends on how you’ve set yours up. If you’re following this as a guide and have setup TFTPD with the MDT share and copied the files to the same locations the option in the picture is correct. Your ip may vary though, so you’ll need to check that it’s correct according to your environment.

This means (if you haven’t read between the lines yet) that you on different networks can have different PXE-servers, because the clients will be pointed to different servers depending on which network they’re coming from. Relating to open 66, boot server name, the client will get their initial PXE-boot from this server. So with a centralized server environment you can still run PXE on the local network at each branch. (Sorry for rubbing this in, but I’ve explained it in two emails already :))

Does it work?

Once these steps are done you’ll need to check that TFTPD32 is running on your deployment computer and that DHCP is configured in TFTPD or in Windows. Boot your empty workstation, press F12 for PXE-boot (depends on if you’re running virtual or not of course) and it should get an ip-address from DHCP and then boot into Windows PE and run your task sequence.






Click to open images in Lightbox

This installation of MDT is very basic without drivers or database and all the other stuff you can throw at it, but it’ll get you started at least. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them!

Speakers Corner

Since we’re still waiting for spring to arrive here in Sweden, it’s snowing today again, I’m having a coffee and looking over the schedule for this spring/summer.

It’s a lot happening this spring, starting with TechDays 23/24:th of March. This event happens in Örebro and has a lot of good speakers lined up: Martin Lidholm, Björn Axell, Hasain Alshakarti, Anders Bengtsson, Daniel Bugday, Elisabeth Stjernstoft, Eva Fors and a lot more. I have a session on Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 with Live Migration and clustering.

Then in June, 7 – 10:th it’s time for TechEd North America which this year takes place in New Orleans. I’ve been given my first “real” breakout session this time, after having had numerous product demonstrations. A PD takes place during lunch, so one might say that attendance has been “so so”. Hope for some more people this time, and I’m looking forward to it!

Sleepless in Seattle

The human body seems to be a clockwork of when it’s time to go to bed or get up. Unfortunately it doesn’t do well with timezones and crap like that. The last few days I’ve been tired around 15.30 every day, gone to bed around 21 and been awake at 03.30. Spending a week in Seattle and attending the MVP Summit 2010. It’s the event when all the MVP’s go to Microsoft to meet each other and the product teams. We also get to see a lot of the things that’ll hit the market in 12-24 months that we can’t talk to anyone about.

So far we’ve spent our days sightseeing. Spent the Sunday with Martin Lidholm and Magnus Björk at the “Future of Flight” which is located at the Boeing factory. We saw a lot of airplanes and learned about the history and future of aviation. Then we took the tour of the factory and saw how these things are built, and what they cost. Outside on the runway 3 out of 4 Dreamlifters (the flying pickle) (video) were parked, we got to see when they unloaded a body to a 787 (which comes in one piece). In the factory, which could fit the entire Disneyworld inside with room to spare, there are six hangars. One for each production line, and it fits 5-6 complete 747:s in ONE hangar. To get a perspective of the size, you could fit 988 basketball courts on the floor.

Yesterday we had dinner at Hooters in Seattle and celebrated my birthday, turning 36 today. Four years to forty. Age ain’t nothing but a number 🙂

Thanks to Stephen Rose and the Springboard series I’ve been interviewed for talkingaboutwindows.com today. We’ll see when that airs. And if the porn-part gets edited out. Thanks Stephen for that one… Ran into Chris Jackson who apparently set the standard. So the next time I might even move in that chair…